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Global air pollution maps

NASA has some new maps showing air pollution around the world. It shows PM2.5, that is, Particulate Matter less than 2.5 micrometers in size, small enough to get past normal bodily defenses and cause health problems. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Sep 23, 2010 - 32 comments

Even the SEV crew have to obey traffic laws!

These Flickr collections document NASA's 2010 Desert Research and Technology Studies tests (Desert RATS!). [via]
posted by brundlefly on Sep 20, 2010 - 7 comments

Before the heliosheath

Emily Lakdawalla has published the first 42 of 99 Voyager Mission Status Bulletins (thanks to space fan Tom Faber). Before the days of the internet, updates on space missions were distributed via newsletter. From 1977-1990 NASA published these Voyager newsletters to update scientists and enthusiasts. Both Voyager I and Voyager II are still out there, hurtling toward the stars. Voyager I and II weekly status updates from 1995-present are currently available online. Lakdawalla will be publishing the rest of the bulletins after she indexes them.
posted by IvoShandor on Sep 15, 2010 - 15 comments

Mother: The ship will automatically destruct in T-minus five minutes.

Swarming spacecraft to self-destruct for greater good. "Future space probes that operate in cooperative swarms must commit hara-kiri if they begin to fail and risk damaging their comrades, says a recent patent application by NASA. The agency foresees a day when space missions are undertaken not by one large spacecraft but by swarming formations of much smaller, cheaper ones. Such craft could collectively provide a "floating optics" system for a space telescope comprising separate craft flying in formation, for instance. However, should one spacecraft in such a swarm begin to fail and risk a calamitous collision with another, it must sense its end is nigh and put itself on a course that takes it forever away from the swarm – for the greater good of the collective."
posted by Fizz on Sep 6, 2010 - 34 comments

Still In Business

This Summer’s Sexiest Images From Saturn. From a billion miles away, the Cassini spacecraft continues to send spectacular images of Saturn and its moons. Cassini has been flying since 1997 and arrived at Saturn in 2004 after flybys of Earth, Venus and Jupiter. Its mission was originally slated to end in 2008, but it got its first 27 month extension to witness Saturn’s equinox. This year, it was given another life extension until 2017 to keep exploring until Saturn’s northern hemisphere summer solstice. [previously] [more inside]
posted by netbros on Sep 4, 2010 - 21 comments

Space geeks rejoice!

Up above the world so high, what's that spacecraft in the sky? [more inside]
posted by Salvor Hardin on Sep 3, 2010 - 10 comments

Picard's third ear

Space Settlements collects various resources relating to the human colonisation of space: online books (including NASA studies from 1975, 1977 and 1992), a contest for schoolkids (so NASA can steal their ideas, natch), but most importantly, kitschy 70s pictures of proposed space colonies (toroidal, spherical, OR cylindrical!).
posted by Dim Siawns on Aug 19, 2010 - 17 comments

All these worlds are yours except... etc.

The Ice Fracture Explorer is Joseph Shoer's concept for an unmanned expedition into the oceans of Europa. [via]
posted by brundlefly on Aug 17, 2010 - 19 comments

Gamma rays from novae detected

Astronomers using NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have detected gamma-rays from a nova for the first time, a finding that stunned observers and theorists alike. (via)
posted by Joe Beese on Aug 12, 2010 - 18 comments

Where, oh where, will my space shuttle go?

The Space Shuttle is still retiring but a U.S. Senate plan (full text PDF), (House version) would add one more flight to the shuttle's career, probably sometime late next summer. The move comes as thousands of jobs stand to be eliminated with the shuttle's retirement. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Aug 3, 2010 - 30 comments

Long hard times in space

"Tubes of space borscht are on sale in the museum gift shop. “There are white and black tubes. On the white is written: ‘BLONDE.’ On black one: ‘BRUNETTE.’ " Astronauts relate challenges of life in space.
posted by ambient2 on Aug 2, 2010 - 17 comments

Your Face in Space

With only two missions remaining as they wind down the space shuttle, NASA has a program to make countless dreams of space travel come (partially) true: Fly Your Face in Space. [more inside]
posted by audacity on Jul 29, 2010 - 12 comments

WISE: Beyond Hubble

On July 17th, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite completed its first survey of the entire sky viewable from Earth. After just seven months in orbit, WISE -- a precursor to the planned James Webb Space Telescope -- has returned more than a million images that provide a close look at celestial objects ranging from distant galaxies to asteroids. The first release of WISE data, covering about 80 percent of the sky, will be delivered to the astronomical community in May of next year, but in the meantime we can see some of the images and animations that NASA has released to date: Galleries (containing just a small selection of images): 1, 2, 3, 4. Videos and Animations: 1, 2 [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 24, 2010 - 11 comments

"All these worlds are (like) yours except . . . "

More than 100 Earth-like planets found . . . [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Jul 23, 2010 - 48 comments

Low Flying Rocks

Tom Taylor's Twitter project, Low Flying Rocks, scrapes the NASA Near Earth Object database, and tweets when an object passes within 0.2 AU (30 million kilometres/18.6 million miles) of the Earth - something that apparently happens "a few times a week". [more inside]
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing on Jul 22, 2010 - 9 comments

You have 25 minutes to save Moonbase Alpha

Year: 2025. Mission: Save Moonbase Alpha after critical systems were damaged by a meteor strike. A free Steam-powered 3D-immersive game from NASA. Windows only.
posted by jjray on Jul 8, 2010 - 44 comments

Death wears bunny slippers

As the internet works to decode the US Cyber Command logo, it is worth pondering the bizarre world of military patches and logos. The most awesomely bad has been selected by popular vote, but there is a serious reason behind that flippant patch. Then there are the strange and nerdy patches of classified projects [prev.] NASA has its own strange and awesome mission patches, but, as Space Review discovered, there are also secret patches for classified missions which give clues to their purpose. And then there was the military logo that was so outlandishly ominous it helped lead to the project's shutdown.
posted by blahblahblah on Jul 7, 2010 - 54 comments

Physics of Phootball

Free during the World Cup the IOP (Institute of Physics) has a collection of papers all about football (soccer). Also related is NASA's recent findings regarding the randomness of the new Adidas ball.
posted by ozomatli on Jul 6, 2010 - 8 comments

"The mission is real, and you're going along for the ride."

Last year, high school science teacher Ron Dantowitz of Brookline, Mass., played a clever trick on three of his best students. He asked them to plan a hypothetical mission to fly onboard a NASA DC-8 aircraft and observe a spacecraft disintegrate as it came screaming into Earth's atmosphere. For 6 months, they worked hard on their assignment, never suspecting the surprise Dantowitz had in store. On March 12th, he stunned them with the news: "The mission is real, and you're going along for the ride."

posted by Burhanistan on Jun 26, 2010 - 50 comments

ISS 2010 Tour

2010 International Space Station Tour - (ISS Tags)
posted by MechEng on Jun 25, 2010 - 10 comments

Trip the Light Fantastic

High above the earth, Astronaut Douglas H. Wheelock is tweeting from his new six month position on the International Space Station. His latest twitpics include the Southern Lights from space. Another photograph of this phenomenon is credited to the expedition. [more inside]
posted by NoraCharles on Jun 22, 2010 - 13 comments

The Sun is a Mass of Cyclically Furious Gas

"The sun is waking up from a deep slumber, and in the next few years we expect to see much higher levels of solar activity." Dr. Richard Fisher and other sun-gazing scientists recently discussed the upcoming peak in the 11-year sunspot cycle. Due to the ever-increasing humans' reliance on electrical systems, the storm could leave a multi-billion pound damage bill and "potentially devastating" problems for governments. Constant improvements in satellite designs have assisted in bracing for a solar superstorm, an effort that comes in part by studying the impacts records of activity from past peaks in solar storms. System limits are set based on significant solar storm-triggered events in the past, though the largest magnetic storm on record was before the modern understanding of solar events. The solar storm of 1859, also known as The Carrington Event, when "telegraphs ran on electric air," was experienced around the world. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 15, 2010 - 52 comments

NASA vintage photos

1172 vintage NASA photos and illustrations.
posted by hippybear on Jun 13, 2010 - 29 comments

awesome cosmos

I take massive NASA images and make them easily viewable. Milky Way. Carina. To zoom, click on the pics. All Hubble Images Sorted by Resolution. Excellent Video Narrated by Morgan Freeman [clip from Cosmic Voyage]. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on May 30, 2010 - 21 comments

Space, an expensive frontier

Can the free market save the space program?
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 26, 2010 - 41 comments

The Other Smoke Monster

Tom Waits and Kool Keith collaborated on a song called "Spacious Thoughts" in 2009. Here's the video. [more inside]
posted by aftermarketradio on May 25, 2010 - 37 comments

Godspeed Atlantis

Barring the need for STS-335 and any potential extension to the program, today's 2:30 EST scheduled launch of OV-104 Atlantis on STS-132 (pdf) will be her 32nd and final trip to space. She's had a good run (gratuitous launch vid).
posted by cloax on May 14, 2010 - 57 comments

Poop in Spaaace!

The Space Potty - the one question astronauts get asked most often: "How do you 'go' in space?" [via]
posted by Burhanistan on May 6, 2010 - 23 comments

Space race I am

Forty-nine years ago, Alan Shepard literally got his 15 minutes of fame by becoming the second person and first American to go into space.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 5, 2010 - 23 comments

Ion Propulsion "Dawns"

Star Trek nerd alert: Standard orbit, Mr. Sulu." Captain Kirk barks out NASA announces Dawn, an ion propulsion rocket to two asteroids, Vesta and Ceres.
posted by Cranberry on May 4, 2010 - 17 comments

All summer In A Night

The final night flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavor [more inside]
posted by humannaire on Apr 27, 2010 - 25 comments

Hubble Space Telescope, this is your life

On April 24, 1990, the Discovery shuttle launched the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit around Earth, where it's been for 20 years. This spring, NASA has been rolling out more pretty pictures, videos and even an IMAX movie in its honor. The Hubble has contributed to hundreds of studies about our universe. As we celebrate its legacy, let's reflect on a bit on its past and future. [more inside]
posted by i8ny3x on Apr 23, 2010 - 22 comments

HOLY SHIT, MAN WALKS ON FUCKING MOON

MOONWALK ONE - A surprisingly groovy look at the Apollo 11 mission to the moon in a full length documentary that contains a lot of rare and not often seen footage of the preparations and launch of the first manned mission to the moon. Warning: Also contains lots of theramins, trippy optical effects, faux bohemians and some really blowy narrative.
posted by loquacious on Apr 23, 2010 - 22 comments

Set the controls for the heart of the Sun

"First Light" for the Solar Dynamics Observatory - researchers unveiled "First Light" images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, a space telescope designed to study the Sun.
posted by Burhanistan on Apr 21, 2010 - 42 comments

Surviving a Space Scrape 40 Years Ago

Jerry Woodfill was an engineer with a mission control console at NASA when Apollo 13 became critically endangered by a blown oxygen tank. He shared his views on how the crew survived with Universe Today in a series of posts: 13 Things that Saved Apollo 13 written by Nancy Atkinson. [more inside]
posted by jjray on Apr 11, 2010 - 10 comments

Pebbles from outer space

Most North Americans slept through the morning of January 13, 2010 as near-Earth object (NEO) 2010 AL30 silently moved across the night sky. Most of the time small asteroids zip past Earth harmlessly. We may not meet the goal of detecting and tracking potentially hazardous near-Earth objects . (Previously)
posted by twoleftfeet on Apr 10, 2010 - 27 comments

Neil deGrasse Tyson on Education and NASA

Neil deGrasse Tyson : What NASA Means to America's Future. NdGT eloquently, passionately explains the essential importance that the nation have a strong education system driven by a national vision that excites children. He argues for the importance of NASA in capturing the imagination of American children, leading them to excel in the sciences — back in the day. SLYT. [more inside]
posted by five fresh fish on Apr 9, 2010 - 67 comments

Boldly going ... where exactly again?

Compromise emerging for NASA's spaceflight future Since the announcement was made last month of the cancellation of Constellation (NASA's plan for returning to the Moon and Mars), the punditsphere has been ablaze with condemnation, support, and outright confusion over the future of American manned spaceflight. Keith Cowling, editor of the Nasawatch.com blog, has posted an interesting new development that if proven right, could prove to be a compromise between those wanting NASA to get out of manned spaceflight altogether and those seeking to keep the administration in the spaceflight business. [more inside]
posted by zooropa on Apr 6, 2010 - 40 comments

Space Shuttle 2.0

Certainly you've read of the Space Shuttle's imminent retirement, but are you prepared for the secret robot "mini" shuttle, the X-37B? After a decade of checkered development under NASA, DARPA (with assistance from Scaled Composites' White Knight) and finally the U.S. Air Force, the first X-37B spaceplane, the Orbital Test Vehicle, is ready for an April 19th launch.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Apr 3, 2010 - 40 comments

Go to Space, Be on a Poster

To promote mission awareness, NASA authorizes the creation of posters. Some may look familiar. Via Gizmodo.
posted by Atreides on Mar 18, 2010 - 24 comments

He aimed for the stars and often hit London.

Many are familiar with Operation Paperclip - the secret U.S. program that brought Nazi scientists to our shores in order to develop the American space program. However, the details surrounding the Nazi V-2 program has always been a little murky in the eyes of the American people - it turns out that more people were killed building V-2 rockets than from actual V-2 rocket attacks. A new photography exhibit called Dora and the V-2: Slave Labor in the Space Age aims to transform perceptions in one of the American communities most affected by the influx of Nazi scientists... [more inside]
posted by cinemafiend on Feb 22, 2010 - 56 comments

Tweeting in a most peculiar way / And the stars look very different today

Since late January of 2010, the International Space Station was able to access the Internet for personal use, leading to the first tweet from space. The previous tweets were e-mailed to the ground where support personnel posted them to the astronaut's Twitter account. Currently there are 17 active NASA astronauts and 6 internatual'nauts tweeting from on high. If their words aren't enough, they're also posting pictures, primarily from Soichi Noguchi (@Astro_Soichi) and José Hernández (@Astro_Jose, whose socio-political messages were covered previously). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 5, 2010 - 28 comments

It's all fun and games until someone gets voted out an airlock

On February 1, a new 24-hour internet-only reality show was launched by the same folks who brought us Apollo 13. Live Feed. Main site. Catch the action (from a distance). How the "set" was built. Cast interview (video). Official press release.
posted by zarq on Feb 5, 2010 - 15 comments

They've Got Trouble Of Some Kind, George

Amateur video footage of the Challenger explosion previously unknown, has now been found and, of course, posted to YouTube. A retired man named Jack Moss was taping the launch from his front yard when the explosion occurred moments into the launch. The tape was relegated to his basement and forgotten, and Moss died late last year. His pastor remembered a conversation about the video and found it among other old Betamax videotapes from the same period. It is believed to be the only amateur footage of the event.
posted by briank on Feb 5, 2010 - 121 comments

Moon landing = cancelled until further notice

Return to the moon? Not likely. "President Barack Obama is essentially grounding efforts to return astronauts to the moon...".
posted by deacon_blues on Jan 28, 2010 - 179 comments

Open Earth

One of the great things about Google Earth is how extensible it is using KML. You can use it to show off placemarks, build 3D structures, track wildfires or hurricanes, and much more. Google Earth can be used as a scientific visualization platform. OpenEarth is an open source initiative that archives, hosts and disseminates Data, Models and Tools for marine and coastal scientists and engineers. Their KML data visualizations using Google Earth display some of the possibilities. [via] [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jan 19, 2010 - 14 comments

2009 John H. Glenn Lecture

On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Annual John H. Glenn Lecture took place at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Tickets were in high demand for the event, which featured the Apollo 11 astronauts - among others - discussing the past, present, and future of manned spaceflight. [more inside]
posted by futureisunwritten on Jan 2, 2010 - 17 comments

Hubble's Festive View of a Grand Star-Forming Region

A new photograph from the Hubble shows the largest stellar nursery in our galactic region. Click on the picture for a larger image.
posted by Lobster Garden on Dec 20, 2009 - 28 comments

A proposal to send a "boat" to explore the seas of Titan

A proposal will be submitted to NASA to send a "boat" to explore the hydrocarbon seas of Titan
posted by Lobster Garden on Dec 19, 2009 - 65 comments

Visit Scenic Titan!

Kraken Mare lake on Saturn's largest moon Titan was finally located and photographed. It's the first photo of a lake of liquid on another planetary body.
posted by blue_beetle on Dec 18, 2009 - 41 comments

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